What Wildness is This:
Women Write About the Southwest

What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest  

Winner, 2008 Willa Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction

What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest is a significant new anthology of writings by women, celebrating their experiences in the landscapes of the Southwest. Published by the University of Texas Press in March 2007, this collection demonstrates and illuminates the rich diversity of environments of the Southwest, as well as the extraordinary range of women's voices and women's experiences of the land. The collection is made up of a variety of literary forms—memoir, creative non-fiction, essay, poetry—and includes pieces by both emerging and established writers.
March 2007
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 in.; 336 pp.
ISBN-10: 0-292-71630-3; ISBN-13: 978-0-292-71630-8
$19.95, paperback

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Table of Contents

(click on author's name for her bio)

Foreword Kathleen Dean Moore
Editor's Note Susan Wittig Albert

A Land Full of Stories

Laura Girardeau "Easter, Picacho Peak"
Cindy Bellinger This Land on My Face
Gloria Vando Nebula
Linda Hogan Dwellings
Joy Harjo "Fire"
Joanne Smith Seasons of a Hermit
Jan Seale Palapa
Luci Tapahonso "A Song for the Direction of North"
"Tsaile April Nights"
Judith Ann Isaacs The Land's Song
Donna Marie Miller "Mexican Sunflowers"
Ann Woodin Spring in the Desert
Ann Zwinger First Snowfall

Geographies: Journey Notes

Sandra Lynn "Geographies"
Susan Hanson The Act of Attention
Judith Strasser "Contemplating Quantum Mechanics"
"Yom Kippur Fast in Taos"
Susan Zwinger Coming of Age in the Grand Canyon
Linda Elizabeth Peterson Into the Escalante
Patricia Wellingham-Jones "On the Lip of the Rio Grande Gorge"
Linda Joy Myers Songs of the Plains
Mary E. Young View From a Hot Air Balloon
Liza Porter "She Could"
Susan J. Tweit Riding the River Home
Denise Chavez "Four Meditations on the Colorado River"
Lianne Elizabeth Mercer "Sunrise"
Diane Ackerman Working on the Tequesquite
Pat Ellis Taylor Indian Hot Springs
Laura Girardeau "Natural Bridges"
Nancy Mairs Writing West
Mary Sojourner Closing

Home Address: The Nature of Urban Life

Naomi Shihab Nye Home Address
Judith E. Bowen Mowing
Sandy Smith "Madrugadora/Early Riser"
SueEllen Campbell World is a Nest
Connie Spittler One Scarlet Penstemon
Pat Mora Voces del Jardin
Lisa Shirah-Hiers Spinning Water into Gold
Sybil Estess "Sunset on the Bayou"
Leslie Marmon Silko The People and the Land ARE Inseparable
Janice Bowers Full Life in a Small Place
Jan Jarboe Russell Into the Woods

Earth is an Island: Nature at Risk

Ceiridwen Terrill Islands
Margo Tamez "My Mother Returns to Calaboz"
Nancy Ellis Taylor "Condor Country/New Year's Eve"
Julia Gibson Coyote Mountain
Carol Coffee Reposa "In Parida Cave"
Hallie Crawford Stillwell Drought
Nancy Linnon Surviving
Gloria Anzaldúa "El Retorno"
Patricia Wellingham-Jones "Sacrifice to Progress"
P.J. Pierce The Pond

The Sustaining Land

Teresa Jordan Sustenance
Joan Shaddox Isom Gathering at the River
Margo Tamez "The Collection"
Sandra Ramos O'Briant Chile Tales
Sandra Lynn "Poem in which I Give You a Canyon"
Patricia Nordyke Pando Dumplings Come to Town
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer "Wish List"
Wendy Rose "Lost Copper"
Ellen Meloy Think Not of a Tectonic Plate

The Key is in Remembering: Growing Up on the Land

Paula Gunn Allen "The Trick is Consciousness"
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz Red Dirt
Davi Walders "Jewish Oil Brat"
"Big Spring, Fifty Years After"
Janie Fried Okarche, 1961
Mary Bryan Stafford Blowout
Rebecca Balcárcel "Crepe Myrtles"
Jackie Woolley Belonging Place
Leslie Marmon Silko "Not You," He Said
Joyce Sequichie Hifler The Hills of Summer
Paula Stallings Yost Mercury Risin'

Eagle Inside Us

Joy Harjo "Eagle Poem"
Kathleen Dean Moore Alamo Canyon Creek
Margo Tamez "On the Wing"
"Hummingbirds Compete"
Marie Unini The Raven
Joy Harjo "Fishing"
Penelope Moffet "Leavening"
Terry Tempest Williams Water
Pattiann Rogers "A Passing"
Ellen Meloy My Animal Life
Penelope Moffet "Presence"
Kelly Tighe Snake
Carol Fox "Working Cattle"
Pattiann Rogers "Knot"
Nancy Owen Nelson "Coyote Love Music"
Sybil Estess "Mastodon Teeth"
Alison Hawthorne Deming Monarchs
"Sleep, Monarchs, Rising and Falling"

What We Leave Behind

Joy Kennedy What We Leave Behind
Susan Cummins Miller "The Bone-Man's Apprentice"
Kathryn Wilder Stones and Jawbones
Beth Paulson "Ashes"
Lisa Swanstrom Land of the Gaping Mouths
Lianne Elizabeth Mercer "Lament at Dusk"
Erica Olsen Trail Guide
Deborah K. Wilson Light on the Water
Sharmon Apt Russell When the Land was Young
Barbara Kingsolver Not Long Ago
Lianne Elizabeth Mercer "How to Climb"
Contributor Biographies
About the Editors
About the Story Circle Network
Sources and Suggestions for Further Reading

About the Story Circle Network

SCN, which was founded in 1997, is a non-profit international organization dedicated to encouraging women to write and share their stories. It publishes an extensive web site, a quarterly Journal and annual anthology, monthly email newsletters, and a variety of occasional publications and on-line activities. It offers a biannual national memoir conference, writing retreats, workshops, Story Circles, and classes. For membership information, go to www.storycircle.org, or write to
Story Circle Network
723 W University Ave #300-234
Georgetown TX 78626